After 7 days of riding the high Atlantic waves, as the New York skyline moved closer in the early morning sunlight, the sky-scrapers released themselves from the mist, towering denser and higher, as my container ship slowly cruised by the proud Statue of Liberty, the crew stand-by on deck, amazed and in excited anticipation, shivering in the light morning wind.
Arriving is the best part of my travel.
And then it brought to my mind the sensation of the millions who were brought here and arrived by water for centuries, in the crammed en masse on immigrant ships, full of hope and adventure.
The first stop being Ellis Island, in the shadow of 150 foot high, copper-green, torch bearing Miss Liberty, a gift from French to the Americans in 1886, they were ferried across to Manhattan. From one generation to the next, these people together with New York, created an immortal monument.
“There were Babylon and Nineveh; They were built of brick;
Athens was gold marble columns.
In Constantinople the minarets flame the great candles around the golden horn…
Steel, glass, tile, concrete will be the materials of the sky scrapers.
Crammed on the narrow island, the million-windowed buildings will jut glittering,, pyramid on pyramid like the white cloud head above a thunderstorm.”
– Dos Passos’ Manhattan Transfer